tono palace 131: Shanghai, China
Address: 田子坊，泰康路248弄10号 (近瑞金二路), Lúwān
Shanghai (Tian Zi Fang)
Phone: +86 21 5465 0813
Entrance Fee: None
Website / Social Media
Facebook: Not available in China
Instagram: Not available in China
Twitter: Not available in China
Cat vs Cafe (30/70)
The Cat Gimmick: Review of Tono Palace 131
As a reviewer of 50+ cat cafes, I'm sensitive about the welfare of the cats in these places and how they are treated. An overwhelming majority of the time, the cats are well-cared for and loved. Far from being used and abused.
And while I don't think the cats at Tono Palace are abused, per se, I do think they are being 'used' as a gimmick to lure people in the door.
I get it. Tianzifang is a busy area with lots of restaurant choices. As a restaurant owner, you want to stand out. So, just chain a couple of t-shirted cats in a glass window near a loud and crowded lane?
My opinion is that the cats are not the number 1 priority here and borderline neglected. Upstairs, where we sat, it was a steamy day and the cats were lethargic in the heat with the fans not running. While there were plenty of bowls, none had fresh water except for one coated with an inch of fur and dust. I couldn't stand it, so I went into the restroom, washed it out and filled it up.
There are no rules. They don't even ask you to wash your hands. Adding to my anxiety, I saw kids chasing the kittens and trying to pick them up by the neck.
Our server was a pleasant young woman and we ordered two lattes, including a special salt taffy variety (45 yuan/$6.75 for one) and our Chinese friend Darren selected the Magic Ice Cream, a large sundae with fruit, several scoops of ice cream and many toppings for 68 yuan/$10.20.
They were nicely presented, like the restaurant itself, but $10 for ice cream in China? Yikes.
Overall, with the exorbitant pricing and transparent cat gimmick, I'd give Tono Palace a pass.
Date Visited: 4/23/17